The sad, complicated history of the original gaff schooner America, the famous yacht for which the America’s Cup is named, has long been associated with mystery and shame. How could it have happened that this once swift, black-hulled beauty was left to rot and die in Annapolis almost 70 years ago under the care of the U.S. Naval Academy?
The skipjack Rosie Parks, a Chesapeake Bay icon that almost disintegrated under the care of the very museum entrusted to save her, is about to begin a second life. A $500,000 restoration project of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum comes to a happy ending this spring when the 51-foot (LOD) Rosie sets sail after decades in a terminal, nautical coma.
When the lockbox of my “nautical needs money pit” is breached, there is no telling exactly where the cash might go, but the general direction mathematically is up, up and away.
Following the traditional rag-hauler’s endless pursuit of frugality, my primary objective has always been to become fairly proficient in the art of solo sailing without making it more potentially dangerous than it is already.
Who among us real boaters has never yearned for a getaway cottage overlooking a bay, ocean, lake, river, creek, cove or even a mere goldfish pond? A simple kind of weekend hunting cabin with a wood cookstove to knock down a chill, some oil and kerosene lamps to set a mood, a padded rocking chair, and a comfy bunk with a bedroll would do nicely.
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Jack has been cruising Chesapeake Bay and writing about the region for more than 25 years. His critically acclaimed book, "Maryland's Vanishing Lives," was published by Baltimore's Johns Hopkins University Press and is now in its second printing. Before joining Soundings, Jack was a feature writer at the Washington (D.C.) Star for nearly 20 years and a senior editor at Chesapeake Bay magazine from 1995 to 1998. His monthly Bay Tripper column focuses on the Chesapeake.